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Tyssen
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Not sure if anyone's noticed yet, but Version 4 of A List Apart has been released. Seems like they've decided to not favour 800x600 screen resolutions with this design.

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DCElliott
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A List Apart new design

Yeah and it is really bad on my TRS-80 but time marches on Wink. I like the new dessign, very classy. I am sure they realize that the vast majority of their users are working on 1024 and upwards - both amateur and professional web designers go for the max screen real estate they can afford. (and some greedy folks like me run two screens)

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gleddy
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A List Apart new design

yup. I like it as well.. I just wish I had all the time in the day to read all the articles... I keep discovering new archived stories all the time through google.

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A List Apart new design

I landed on an archived article there last week and got even more confused than normal.

I like the look - clean, simple and easy to read.

My strategy is so simple an idiot could have devised it!

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A List Apart new design

Ah David, the good ol' TRaSh 80s. That brings me back to my first computer experience in junior high school. After about 2 weeks, I was literally teaching the teacher (she was just a math teacher and was given the computer 'lab' project).

Hugo
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A List Apart new design

Laughing out loud I loaded it up and got an unstyled version, took me a second or two to realise, whilst thinking that's not very good.

Have to admit to not liking it greatly, find it slightly too busy and not sure where to focus the eye, too many little boxes.

If they were going for maximum real estate would it not have been better to make some of it fluid I never run my browser full screen on my 1024 display and immediately get a horizontal scroll bar.

Hugo.

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Lorraine
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A List Apart new design

Well, it's not what you'd call over-styled is it?
Very pleasing none-the-less and, despite being a tad controversial, it is accessible and we can look forward to a brand new look for each issue. Can't wait for issue 202 - that's stickability I guess.

gary.turner
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A List Apart new design

Yeah, I'm with Hugo. Went to ALA yesterday, and was very disappointed that the new design caused h-scrolling in my 800px browser window. And no, David, I'm not some troglodyte running a 640×480 VGA monitor. (OK, I have one on a Linux server box.) My monitor has 1280×960 resolution, but I have no desire to waste that real estate with a maximized browser window. 800px wide is sufficient for just about every app I run and web sites that require more are aggravating.

I am thankful that at least the article content is not in the off-screen area. I suppose the new design is attractive, but it's hard to judge because a significant portion is hidden off screen.

just another preadamite,

gary

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Hugo
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A List Apart new design

Cant see that they have gone to any special lengths to be accessible though, it just looks to be the standard level for a good sematic well formed set of markup and rules.

It's a bit odd if you don't load images though you have a text bar running across the top half of the links at the top of the page and a text jump on links when images are hidden also no skip links although that must be a deliberate decision .

Hugo.

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larmyia
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A List Apart new design

I noticed it last week. I like the colours and calm atmosphere. however I think it's too busy and not sure where to look. too much going on imho.

larmyia

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functional uglies

Hugo wrote:
Have to admit to not liking it greatly, find it slightly too busy and not sure where to focus the eye, too many little boxes.

I happen to agree with you -- meant to start this thread last week. ALA has always been a place to go for great content. I could give a *&$^ what it looks like, as long as the pages load quickly and the navigation is easy to follow. I'm not sure if I now find it too busy simply because it's new or simply because it is.

The old design was possibly a bit too minimalistic -- but I'm still partial to it. It looked like excrement but tasted so sweet. Look at google, craigslist, and other functional uglies -- they're remind you of that faithful, loyal girl (or boy) you knew with a pure heart and a tainted veneer. And the worst thing a functional ugly can do is to attempt to overbump their aesthetic beyond their function; ALA will never be known for its great design, but instead, for its uncanny ability to foster great designers. Still, vanity lives easier in the flesh, and I suppose I'll learn to live with the needlessly spiffed-up ALA.

- Antibland

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A List Apart new design

Nicely put antibland,

I'm afraid that I think this falls into the re-design for the sake of it camp not because it was really needed.

There is a propensity for harking after design aesthetics that is perfectly understandable, one does become jaded and re-design has the habit of freshening up the look of content, but it can tend to forget that content is the master. Design, first and foremost, is there to serve content and must not exist solely for it's own benefit. there are cases for the absolute minimum of design that serves to express the content and it's immediate accessibility, I love visuals but for the most part I visit sites to garner information and wish not to be distracted by design elements, for me effective design is that which clearly presents content.

However when all's said and done it is a subjective matter to a certain degree and many will like it, many won't.

Hugo.

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roytheboy
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A List Apart new design

Having been away for a long weekend, here is my two-pennies worth:

The ALA site is a wonderful resource that without doubt is helping to shape a better-looking, more usable and accessible World Wide Web. It represents all that is good about the internet. Personally, I liked the previous 'look and feel' but understand the desire to keep things fresh and interesting on a popular site.

Typographically, the new look is a masterpiece of elegance and usability. I like it a lot. But the grid layout of the page is a disaster of gobsmacking proportions!

Like DE, I have a two-screen set-up but like Gary I use it wisely with multiple windows showing server monitoring interfaces and incoming mail etc. My main browser window is a little over 800px wide and so 99.9% of all websites look good with no wasted screen space. Of all the sites to trigger a horizontal scroll bar, I am shocked that the ALA site is one of the very few. Can this be for real?

What's worse is that it so clearly doesn't have to be this way. What's with all the blank space on the left of the page? ...and where is the visual anchor and strong branding afforded by a strong or subtly-dominant header? Where does the eye go first: the issue number - surely not! How can typographic control and layout THIS good be ruined by a grid layout THIS bad? It's an interactive website, not a static printed brochure!

The reason some people think the new site is too busy is not because it's busy at all, but due to a lack of visual structure in the key area of 'page navigation'. As Hugo suggests, effective design is about unambiguous presentation of content (many other things too but let's stick to the issue at hand) and in that respect, ALA v4 is not quite there yet.

The header desperately needs to be redesigned to incorporate the new branding device, or a modified version of it. The main nav menu looks slightly clumsy in size (Mac_FF) next to the fashionably-small body copy, and although I'm sure the designer is trying to maximise usable vertical space, he has thrown the baby out with the bath water and left us with an inferior magazine site because of it.

Come on ALA: move that branding device up to the top left (modify it if necessary); increase the amount of primary colour (dark brown by default) in the header; move the main content over to the left (you can still have a wider-than-normal left margin and fit everything into 760px by reducing the main measure slightly); decrease the size of the main nav text slightly and visually separate it from the changing site content by any one of dozens of visual methods. I can see you're trying to be 'different' but it is my professional opinion that you need to think again with your header.

In all other respects well done and keep up the good work Smile

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